Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Adjusted Monetary Base and Trouble Ahead

There was an article that appeared at Mises.org titled "Charting the Course to $7 Gas".  The author hit on some of the points that I have hammered on, particularly the tripling of the adjusted monetary base and the increase in excess reserves.

I found it amusing where he pointed out the blip on the chart of the adjusted monetary base back in 2000.  This was Greenspan and the Fed responding to the dot-com bust.  It is circled in red.  If you look at the recession in 2001, you can also see a small blip there too (just to the right of the red circle).  I believe this increase in the monetary base was a response to 9/11.  It just shows how tiny it was compared to what has happened since 2008.

If the gradual increase in the monetary base from the 1980's all the way to 2008 could cause a major tech bubble and then a major housing bubble, just think what might happen now.  This is why we could see oil, gold, silver, and other commodities double, triple, or more in a short period of time, even from where they are now.  I'm not making a prediction, but I am saying that it is not unlikely at this point given what the Fed has done in the last three years.

The excess reserves held by banks has slowed down price inflation.  Likewise, unemployment and uncertainty in the economy has increase the demand for money (slower velocity) to a certain extent, which has also slowed down price inflation.  We could easily see this shift quickly.  When more people perceive that their dollars will be worth less tomorrow than today, then more and more people will start rushing to spend those dollars, thus driving up prices.  The Keynesians will get what they want in more spending and the American people will get it good and hard with dramatically increasing prices.

In listening and reading the people I respect the most when it comes to economic analysis, it is scary how much consensus I find.  Certainly people have different ideas on how things will progress (or maybe regress is a better word), but it is almost unanimous that there is major trouble up ahead.  We should hope that the American people (along with the rest of the people on earth) start withdrawing their consent from the federal government and that the troubles ahead will be short-lived.  We should hope that the trouble ahead caused by current policies is the start of a new era; an era of peace and prosperity with more liberty.

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